15 June 2022 In Drinking Patterns

This review discusses the inconsistent recommendations on alcohol consumption and its association with chronic disease, highlighting the need for an evidence-based consensus. Alcohol is an addictive substance consumed worldwide, especially in European countries. Recommendations on alcohol consumption are controversial. On one hand, many nonrandomized studies defend that moderate consumption has a beneficial cardiovascular effect or a lower risk of all-cause mortality. On the other hand, alcohol is associated with an increased risk of cancer, neurological diseases, or injuries, among others. For years, efforts have been made to answer the question regarding the safe amount of alcohol intake, but controversies remain. Observational studies advocate moderate alcohol consumption following a Mediterranean pattern (red wine with meals avoiding binge drinking) as the best option for current drinkers. However, agencies such as the IARC recommend abstention from alcohol as it is a potent carcinogen. In this context, more randomized trial with larger sample size and hard clinical endpoints should be conducted to clarify the available evidence and provide clinicians with support for their clinical practice.

26 January 2022 In Dementia

BACKGROUND: In the context of increasing global aging, the long-term effects of alcohol consumption on cognitive function in older adults were analyzed in order to provide rationalized health recommendations to the elderly population.

METHODS: The study used the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) dataset, from which 5354 Chinese seniors aged 65-112 years were selected as the subjects, spanning the years 1998-2018. Data on alcohol, diet, activity, and cognition were collected by questionnaire and cognitive levels were judged by the Mini-Mental State Examination scale (also referenced to the Functional Assessment Staging Test). Data cleaning and preprocessing was implemented by R software. The dynamic Cox model was applied for model construction and data analysis.

RESULTS: The results of the dynamic Cox model suggested that seniors who drank alcohol were at higher risk of cognitive decline compared to those who never drank (HR = 1.291, 95%CI: 1.175-1.419). The risk was similarly exacerbated by perennial drinking habits (i.e., longer drinking years, HR = 1.008, 95%CI: 1.004-1.013). Compared to non-alcoholic beverages, liquor (>/= 38 degrees ), liquor (< 38 degrees ), wine and rice wine all showed negative effects. Whereas, the risk of cognitive decline was relatively lower in seniors who consumed liquors (< 38 degrees ) and rice wine compared to the high-level liquor (HR: 0.672 (0.508, 0.887) and 0.732 (0.559, 0.957), respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption has a negative and long-term effects on cognitive function in seniors. For the elderly, we suggested that alcohol intake should be avoided as much as possible.

25 August 2020 In Drinking Patterns

OBJECTIVES: The aims of this study were to: (1) describe alcohol industry corporate social responsibility (CSR) actions conducted across six global geographic regions; (2) identify the benefits accruing to the industry ('doing well'); and (3) estimate the public health impact of the actions ('doing good').

SETTING: Actions from six global geographic regions.

PARTICIPANTS: A web-based compendium of 3551 industry actions, representing the efforts of the alcohol industry to reduce harmful alcohol use, was issued in 2012. The compendium consisted of short descriptions of each action, plus other information about the sponsorship, content and evaluation of the activities. Public health professionals (n=19) rated a sample (n=1046) of the actions using a reliable content rating procedure.

OUTCOME MEASURES: WHO Global strategy target area, estimated population reach, risk of harm, advertising potential, policy impact potential and other aspects of the activity.

RESULTS: The industry actions were conducted disproportionately in regions with high-income countries (Europe and North America), with lower proportions in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Only 27% conformed to recommended WHO target areas for global action to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. The overwhelming majority (96.8%) of industry actions lacked scientific support (p<0.01) and 11.0% had the potential for doing harm. The benefits accruing to the industry ('doing well') included brand marketing and the use of CSR to manage risk and achieve strategic goals.

CONCLUSION: Alcohol industry CSR activities are unlikely to reduce harmful alcohol use but they do provide commercial strategic advantage while at the same time appearing to have a public health purpose.

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